T his baby barn owl was close to the end when he was brought in to the sanctuary yesterday. Staff at Hardwick Hall had seen him on a roof, another older owl with him had already died. When he was brought in to us he waslying on his back with his feet in the air. He was cold and emaciated. Without his mother to feed him he had no chance.
We thought at first that it was already too late but amazingly, there was a spark of life. We’d been alerted to his arrival and had a heat pad already on. We’ve reared several abandoned owl chicks this year and all successfully. This was this year’s first baby barn owl though. It’s late in the season and he is probably a chick from a second hatching. We don’t know what happened to his parents.
He’s been lethargic so far and is frail and only just clinging on but where there is life there is hope. He is taking food, although he has to be persuaded to open his beak. When I hold him he feels very light. He has a few slivers of meat at a time; I gently open his beak and pop a morsel in. He thinks about it for a while then gulps it down. As soon as he’s had enough he goes to sleep. He isn’t able to stand yet but hopefully he’ll be stronger tomorrow. We’ve had baby owls as weak as this one pull round before ……. he is an exquisitively beautiful creature, magical and otherworldly …… hopes and prayers please.